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Lauda: 'Rules-heavy F1 drives me mad'

2014-07-08 08:08

SILVERSTONE, England - Mercedes F1 team boss Niki Lauda slammed Formula 1 for being 'over regulated' and said Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was partly to blame for his own big first lap accident crash at the 2014 British Grand Prix on July 6.

Lauda said he could not understand Raikkonen's driving in the crash that delayed the British GP for an hour.

He suggested that the delay, to repair a piece of crash barrier, was too long and unnecessary and may have cost the sport large numbers of TV viewers on a day when it was competing with the Tour de France and the men's tennis singles' final at Wimbledon.

'OVER-NURSING OF F1'

Lauda said: "This over-nursing of F1, being over cautious, over-controlling and over-regulating, drives me mad. This little guardrail issue is another example. There are too many people involved in making F1 as safe as the roads, which is wrong.

"They should have fixed it quickly, done something instantly, and then 10-15 minutes later the race would have gone on.

"There is no way that another car would have hit in the same place on the guard rail. The delays we have now, nursing the guys, not crossing the white line here, being four seconds back, it is all wrong and this should be stopped.

"I've talked to Bernie [Ecclestone] about it and he fully agrees. We have to go back to normal racing."

Raikkonen went wide and on to the run-off through the Aintree kink and lost control of his Ferrari as he rejoined the track further down the Wellington Straight. The big impact caused barrier damage that required a one-hour repair. Mercedes non-executive chairman Lauda said Raikkonen had to accept responsibility for rejoining the track in the way that he did.

BARRIER REPAIR 'UNACCEPTABLE'

Lauda said: "One other criticism I have is that Kimi made a mistake. He went wide, so why does he come in balls out and then crash? Hopefully nothing happened [to hurt him], but it was unnecessary."

Lauda added that the time that the barrier repair took was unacceptable. He suggested that the FIA should have considered a quicker temporary fix, such as a tyre barrier in front of the guardrail.

"Why then did we stop for one hour to fix one bottom guardrail? There should have been a quicker fix, and a quicker fix could mean put some tyres in front. There are other ways of doing this," he said.

Lauda argued it was another example of F1 being too obsessed with rules and regulations at the expense of common sense: "None of this was necessary and a lot of people watching the race must have switched to something else on their televisions. It is not the right thing to be doing."

Times Live

Comments
  • Daniel Mpande - 2014-07-08 12:13

    I agree with Niki. They should have found a quick solution to secure the rails. To take an hour to repair this was over the top. It's ironic that in such a high speed sport they can't find a high speed solution.

      Andre Le Roux - 2014-07-08 15:32

      Because I recorded the race on my PVR I missed nearly half of the last bit of the race because of the delay!

  • James Smythe - 2014-07-08 14:34

    'Elf and Safety Culture taken to the extreme by intellectual dwarfs - the death knell of almost all human endeavour!

  • Tyrone Tholkes - 2014-07-08 22:01

    NIKI you have a point a GOOG one

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